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Open AccessArticle

AgROS: A Robot Operating System Based Emulation Tool for Agricultural Robotics

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Institute for Bio-Economy and Agri-Technology (iBO), Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), 6th km Charilaou-Thermi Rd, GR 57001 Thermi, Thessaloniki, Greece
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Centre for International Manufacturing, Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), Department of Engineering, School of Technology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 0FS, UK
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Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, International Hellenic University (IHU), GR 57400 Sindos, Thessaloniki, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2019, 9(7), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9070403
Received: 2 May 2019 / Revised: 13 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 20 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Route Planning and Feasibility)
This research aims to develop a farm management emulation tool that enables agrifood producers to effectively introduce advanced digital technologies, like intelligent and autonomous unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), in real-world field operations. To that end, we first provide a critical taxonomy of studies investigating agricultural robotic systems with regard to: (i) the analysis approach, i.e., simulation, emulation, real-world implementation; (ii) farming operations; and (iii) the farming type. Our analysis demonstrates that simulation and emulation modelling have been extensively applied to study advanced agricultural machinery while the majority of the extant research efforts focuses on harvesting/picking/mowing and fertilizing/spraying activities; most studies consider a generic agricultural layout. Thereafter, we developed AgROS, an emulation tool based on the Robot Operating System, which could be used for assessing the efficiency of real-world robot systems in customized fields. The AgROS allows farmers to select their actual field from a map layout, import the landscape of the field, add characteristics of the actual agricultural layout (e.g., trees, static objects), select an agricultural robot from a predefined list of commercial systems, import the selected UGV into the emulation environment, and test the robot’s performance in a quasi-real-world environment. AgROS supports farmers in the ex-ante analysis and performance evaluation of robotized precision farming operations while lays the foundations for realizing “digital twins” in agriculture. View Full-Text
Keywords: digital agriculture; agricultural robotics; unmanned ground vehicles; robot operating system; emulation; precision farming digital agriculture; agricultural robotics; unmanned ground vehicles; robot operating system; emulation; precision farming
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Tsolakis, N.; Bechtsis, D.; Bochtis, D. AgROS: A Robot Operating System Based Emulation Tool for Agricultural Robotics. Agronomy 2019, 9, 403.

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